I AM WRITING in response to a letter from Phillip Tapsfield in your edition of January 25, regarding many issues surrounding Storrington and Sullington Parish Council.
As the former parish clerk for many years I should like to make it clear that the present councillors are NOT unelected; they were ELECTED UNOPPOSED as no other parishioners of the area put their names forward for election to the parish council.
If they had there would have been an election.
It is extremely difficult to get people to join the parish council as most people are not prepared to work for nothing, despite their much vaunted concern about ‘our Storrington’.
As it is these people give a great deal of their unpaid time to take office.
Many of the current parish councillors have given well over 15 years to their posts, which are completely unpaid. Nor do they claim any expenses. As such they deserve respect not abuse.
If those doing the criticising feel that they can do a better job then why don’t they join the council?
It is very easy to criticise from the outside when you have no idea of what is involved and are not prepared to do the job yourself.
When it comes to planning issues, such as the Waitrose development, planning policy has to be applied. In this case those members implemented this to high standard.
Should this application be refused because people ‘don’t like it’ and not on planning grounds, Waitrose would take it to appeal and they would undoubtedly win, causing the taxpayers (ie, us) a great deal of expense in paying their costs.
This is a complete waste of public money. The best thing for the parish council (and indeed the district council) to do is what they have done – try to get the best they can out of the application by getting Waitrose to work with them to improve the plans.
People need to understand that not liking something or not wanting it are not grounds for refusing it. This shows a complete lack of understanding of how the planning system works.
I personally believe that Waitrose will listen to all the comments made at the meeting and try to accommodate them as much as possible.
As for the SOS petition, this has been signed many times by the same small group of people and does not therefore represent a true figure.
In any case it represents a very small minority of the population of Storrington – it is always the ‘antis’ who shout the loudest.
The silent majority are either for the proposal or not bothered either way. The protesters do not have the public support that they seem to think they have.
We all should be very grateful to Waitrose for their support in giving monies to so many worthy causes.
How many other supermarkets give £1,000 every month to local causes? This should be commended by all of us.